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TCF-S Software Control

The TCF-S focuser was the first telescope focuser to offer serial port control and ushered in an era of telescope accessory automation.  Focus is the single most critical factor in astronomical imaging and the TCF-S family of focusers are supported by most telescope and camera control software packages currently available. 

Optec provides the TCF-S Control  stand-alone program and ASCOM drivers for the Microsoft Windows platforms available for download at no charge from our TCF-S Download page.  Mac and Linux users can also find links to software platforms for these operating systems on our Resources page.

AutoFocus Software

FocusMaxThe real power of the TCF-S Focusers come alive with AutoFocusing software.  There are many autofocus routines being developed with Larry Weber and Steve Brady's FocusMax being one of the first.  FocusMax was originally designed to take advantage of the TCF-S focuser's absolute positioning capability.

CCDSoft and Maxim D/L include native autofocus routines as does Equinox for Mac OS users.  While exceptionally powerful, autofocus requires a relatively high degree of understanding to set up your system properly.  We recommend visiting the website of your favorite autofocus software vendor to configure and optimize your system for quick, repeatable, and reliable focus with every image.

The latest information and downloadable version for FocusMax can be found at the Yahoo! User Group located here:  http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/FMaxUG/
Neil Fleming has written a very nice FocusMax tutorial and "getting started" guide here: http://www.flemingastrophotography.com/Frame-57-focusmaxpage57.html?refresh=1205684897892

Maxim D/L SharpStar autofocus tutorial  information can be found here:  http://www.cyanogen.com/help/maximdl/Autofocus_Tutorial.htm

Software Bisque's @Focus information can be found here:  http://www.bisque.com/help/ccdsoft%20info/atfocus_automated_focus.htm

Equinox 6 has an Auto Focus routine described on page 33 of the Users' Manual located here:  http://www.microprojects.ca/software/E6Manual.pdf

Important information for TCF-S3 users of CCDSoft:

CCDSoft Version 5For users of CCDSoft and the TCF-S3 and TCF-S3i focusers, it is necessary to increase the maximum number of steps allowed by CCDSoft from 7,000 to 10,000 steps.  This can be done easily by editing the SBFocuser.ini file in the C:\Windows folder for Windows XP.  Of course, you must have access rights to this folder.  Check your UAC settings in Vista or Windows 7.

Edit the SBFocuser.ini with Notepad or any text editor.  Scroll down to the TCFS section and add the highlighted line below:

[TCFS]
Port=1
MaxPos=10000
LargeStep=200
SmallStep=50
Backlash=0
TCM=0

Restart CCDSoft and verify that the TCF-S3 now allows the full range of 10,000 steps and 1-inch of focal travel.

Older ASCOM driver download:

The older ASCOM driver version 4.1.0 formerly available on the ASCOM website is now obsolete.  This driver and the 4.2.0 update instructions can still be found here.

The most current TCF-S ASCOM driver and software can be downloaded from our Download page:  http://www.optecinc.com/astronomy/downloads/tcf-s.htm